Have you ever tasted butter’s richly golden cousin, ghee? If not, get ready to have your socks knocked off. If you are familiar with ghee, you know it is delicious, but can be pretty expensive. Why not save a few bucks by making your own? It’s fast, easy, healthy, and even tastier than store-bought.
Ghee, or clarified butter, is essentially butter oil—butter with the milk solids (ahem, the allergenic proteins) removed. This nutty, buttery fat is shelf-stable and can easily be refrigerated or kept at room temperature. Originating in India (where shelf-stable butter is necessary to counter the oppressive heat), ghee is often used as a nourishing fat in Ayurvedic cooking.
Ghee has a very high smoke point, making it a smart choice for cooking if you are looking to avoid inflammatory oxidation. It is also loaded with vitamins A and E, as you can imagine due to its rich golden hue. It also contains the elusive vitamin K2 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps to regulate metabolism and support a healthy weight. Ghee is known to fight inflammation and may actually lower cholesterol (although I assume that is entirely dependent on the quality of butter used in the ghee). And due to the clarification process, ghee is extremely low in dairy allergens lactose and casein, meaning those who live dairy-free may actually be able to enjoy butter again!
Ready to hop onboard and make some of your own ghee? All you need is one pound of unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed) and some cheesecloth.
- 1 lb. of unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed)
- 3 layers of cheesecloth
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Simmer the butter until it begins to bubble. You’ll see the solids begin sticking to the side of the pan after a few minutes.
- The butter will begin to foam with smaller bubbles and the milk solids will begin to brown.
- After 8-10 minutes of simmering, the milk solids will turn deep brown and sink to the bottom while the remaining butter will become gloriously golden. Remove from heat.
- Strain liquid through triple-layer cheesecloth over a heat-proof container.
- Toss solids trapped in cheesecloth.
- Store liquid butter (now officially ghee) in an airtight jar. Refrigerate or store at room temperature, depending on your preferences.
The entire process takes no more than 15 minutes from start to finish and you have a nice, nourishing jar of grass-fed ghee at the end. Spread on bread, use for cooking, stir into coffee and tea, you name it. Ghee is a wonderful fat that supports a healthy body and a healthy mind.
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